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Forum: Financial Planning and Budgeting

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  #1  
July 7th, 2011, 09:41 AM
JessP's Avatar Lovin life and family
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Washington
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Do you know your credit score?
Have you been trying to improve it or are you at a good score?
What are you doing to improve it?
Do you check your credit report?
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  #2  
July 7th, 2011, 10:11 AM
Hazel's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 2,640
i don't check the score but I do check the credit history a couple of times a year through www.annualcreditreport.com to make sure all the information is accurate. I do occasionally pull up the estimated score through Free Credit Score & Credit Report Card. No Credit Card Needed because it is free and it gives me a pretty good idea of where we are.

When I worked in lending, I had a lot of training in credit scores, what goes into them, and what types of things can improve them--I used to advise people who were turned down for loans how to put themselves in a better position to get approved the next time. If anyone is interested, I can type out my spiel on how to up your scores My husband's credit was absolutely awful when I met him and I did it to his credit and he's so proud of his "excellent" score now I have never seen someone so excited to get approved for a car loan on their own and get the really great rates
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  #3  
July 7th, 2011, 10:28 AM
wefrogy's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Virginia
Posts: 16,999
I do not know my current credit score. Haven't checked it since we bought our house 5 yrs ago
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  #4  
July 7th, 2011, 12:02 PM
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I don't know exactly, but when we re-fied last year they were quite high.
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  #5  
July 7th, 2011, 03:47 PM
Happy Song's Avatar Nicole
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 10,797
Do you know your credit score? No but it is pretty bad!

Have you been trying to improve it or are you at a good score? No i am just treading water

What are you doing to improve it? Nothing

Do you check your credit report? No
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  #6  
July 8th, 2011, 03:44 AM
Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 3,972
I dont know my actual score but I do get my free copies of all 3 credit records every year. I am in great shape right now and happy with my records so pretty sure my scores are solid (they were 2 years ago when I got approved for the mortgage).

Hazel - I am interested in hearing about it. Bf doesnt have the best credit and I really want to help him get it raised up a bit so that I dont have to have all our car loans in my name.
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  #7  
July 8th, 2011, 07:52 AM
Hazel's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 2,640
Quote:
Originally Posted by hkystar View Post

Hazel - I am interested in hearing about it. Bf doesnt have the best credit and I really want to help him get it raised up a bit so that I dont have to have all our car loans in my name.
Patience is key because it can take a while One of the big parts of your credit score is the credit history--showing that you can and do handle debt well. Check out some local credit unions and see who has a good rate on a Share Secured Loan--banks tend to charge more than double for these so credit unions are usually the way to go You are basically borrowing your own money--you deposit funds into a savings account, the CU places a hold on the funds so they can't be withdrawn and they "loan" you the amount they have on hold and typically charge an interest rate of a few percentage points over whatever the current interest rate being paid on the account. Some of them will hold the entire amount until the loan is completely paid off, some will release the amount you paid (minus the interest) so your amount on hold always equals the balance on your loan. Many people balk at paying to borrow their own money but it is worth it if you can start building up a solid credit history. They show up on your credit report as an installment loan. They don't have to be huge amounts--my husband's first one was our rent money We did larger ones with our tax return money It only took him about a year of doing those (his score was really bad.....) to bring his credit score up high enough to get approved for his very first credit card.

Which is actually the next step--once your score is high enough to get approved, its time for credit cards. Part of your credit score is determined by how many credit cards you have (which makes me go because some people just should not have them and being penalized with a lower score because you don't have one sucks). If someone isn't very good at responsibly using credit cards, don't do it! While you probably won't hit the "excellent" category in credit scores without some credit cards, you can still build up a decent score without them. But if someone has the ability to get them without abusing them, they will help build up a better score. Another option is a secured credit card--it works like the share secured loan--you have x amount on hold in a savings account and that is the limit on your card. It can be an excellent way of adding a card onto your credit report without risking getting in trouble with it Again--go with a credit union for that--the rates will be better

Another important thing is making sure your payments are on time--late payments will bring that score down, as will things getting sent to collections.

Another excellent reason to go with credit unions for this stuff is that you will be building a relationship with them and that gives you an advantage when you do need to apply for a loan/credit card/mortgage because they take that banking history into consideration when reviewing your application--if your credit is still in the "iffy" stages, they are more likely to approve you if you have history with them After my husband spent some time doing share secured loans and getting his credit card (through the credit union), we did a car loan and adding on a different type of loan also helped bring his score up faster (they look at the mix of loans you have when figuring out the score). It takes time and patience but he was able to start getting approval for things within a year, maybe not the best interest rates because his score wasn't "great" yet but he never could even get approved before that The next time we bought a car, he was in the top tier and got the best rate
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  #8  
July 9th, 2011, 08:15 PM
Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 7,429
Do you know your credit score? Yep. Found out by accident, but it's extremely high.

Have you been trying to improve it or are you at a good score? Nope. Don't care what it is since we don't use credit.

What are you doing to improve it? Nothing, we do not use credit so don't care what it is.

Do you check your credit report? Yes, every 3-4 months.
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